As Seen In

Articles related to Love Me Don’t Leave Me:

 

Dating Guru Michelle Skeen Shares Tips for Healthy Relationships at Every Age

 

The Purple Fig

 

Last time, TPF had a chance to catch up with relationship therapist Michelle Skeen, who shared her words of advice for healthy and happy dating. Here is part two of our interview with this expert, where she discusses the challenges of dating in one’s thirties and forties, along with unconscious behaviours that can cause a relationship to take a troubled route.

 

For many single women, especially those who are in their thirties or forties and are looking for long-term relationships, looking for the “perfect guy” is a challenge. In your opinion, what are some tips to learn to accept flaws while dating?

 

One of the first things that I take the reader through in my book is to understand yourself and get to know what works best for you, and also what doesn’t work. Get to know yourself, as we’re not perfect people. This is a barrier to getting into a relationship. Oftentimes, this is unconscious. It’s important to focus on what’s realistic.

As much as I enjoy watching romantic comedies, that’s a big order on the shopping list! A lot of relationships can develop into that, but it takes a lot of work. Some people think when the right person comes along, no work is needed. I liked that show Married At First Sight, where people were put together based on how they looked on paper. The thing I loved about the show was that there were experts helping them, but even in the best situation, you can’t run away from an imperfect interaction, situation or person.

 

It’s important to not be rigid and to stay focused on your communication skills. We are all designed to be in love and to be partnered. My purpose of writing this book is to help women overcome these barriers.

 

What are the unconscious behaviours that can really change the route a relationship is taking, and maybe lead to a break-up or a troubled relationship?

 

I talked about “testing” earlier, where a lot of the times we test the other person. We want the other person to test us, but we’re not thinking “Oh, I want to test this.” Maybe you start showing parts of yourself that are less attractive, or will show him that you’re not perfect. Maybe you worry that if you’re not perfect, he won’t want to be with you. I think in the early stages of a relationship, you have less of a history and can push that person away. In the middle stages, the other person becomes challenged. “I’ve proven myself to you, why do I need to keep doing this?” There’s this person who is throwing a lot of these uncertain conversations or situations into the relationship. That’s one way it can play out. There’s that self-fulfilling prophecy, and you have proof.

 

Do women often ignore initial warning signs that a man may not be the “perfect guy” for them? What are these signs?

 

I added a final chapter to my book that is designed to give strategies and tips to new couples who have just started going out. I think we always want to be done with the dating, and want this guy to be “the guy.” It’s easy to overlook early warning signs, and say “oh maybe he’s having a bad day.” Even though it doesn’t sound romantic, keep a journal and keep track of these behaviours. It’s new, it’s easy to get swept away, and think “oh, he didn’t really do that before.” We can all engage in these behaviours, so it is important to identify if it’s a pattern.

For example, there can be the black and white thinker, who has strong opinions on everything. It’s normal for all of us to have one or two areas that we’re passionate about, but with this person, there’s no grey in his life. That’s someone who you would want to avoid, if it’s a pattern.

 

The other type is a victim, blames others and does not take any responsibility. Another type is the ex-talker, who can’t stop talking about his ex in a negative way. While it wouldn’t be good if he always spoke of his ex in a positive light, this guy won’t take any shared responsibility. There is also the criticizer, who may not be critical of you right away, but you can anticipate that he may be later.

 

There is also the idealizer, who puts you on a pedestal and sees you as perfect. The last type is the Don Juan, who is constantly flirting with everyone, whether it’s the waitress, barista or hostess. He is not just focused on you, but also on other women.

 

This devalues you and you wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with him. It’s easy for us to go to the extremes and reject people, however. That was just a quick chapter at the end, but there’s a section for women who are overcoming certain fears.

 

What are your best ways for women to stay strong, assertive and open-minded while dating, both before and after they’ve found a great partner?

 

It’s important to appreciate parts of your life that are working, even without a partner. You might end up meeting someone while doing an activity. Be active, this will make you a happier person, and we’re all attracted to happy people. Get caught doing what you love.

 

What do you want the other person to see you doing- not staying in your apartment and hiding! Don’t think about it, just do it. Women think too much, and this can be a barrier to action. Pay attention to your behaviours.

For women in their twenties who are trying to figure themselves out, if it starts with only sex, there is already so much pressure on both people. You may attribute nicer qualities to the guy, in order to make it work, or this may lead to you backtracking.

 

Many relationships which start with just sex never get to the relationship stage, although some do. I love working with younger people, because it is easier to adopt new behaviours. There are no deeply entrenched behaviours, so they are interested in change. However, the dating scene is not just confined to one age group. For women who are older, the change is more dramatic.

 

Read it on The Purple Fig

 

————————————————————————————————————

 

Relationship Expert Michelle Skeen Talks Mindfulness, Accepting Flaws and Warning Signs While Dating

 

The Purple Fig

 

In her new book Love Me, Don’t Leave Me, therapist and author Michelle Skeen offers tips on mindfulness while dating and learning to accept your partner’s flaws. She also discusses understanding how to take “warning signs” into consideration, when meeting a new potential lover. We had a chance to catch up with this relationship expert, and learned some tips about exploring the always-confusing and eternally intriguing dating scene.

 

For many single women, especially those who are in their thirties or forties and are looking for long-term relationships, looking for the “perfect guy” is a challenge. In your opinion, what are some tips to learn to accept flaws while dating?

 

One of the first things that I take the reader through in my book is to understand yourself and get to know what works best for you, and also what doesn’t work. Get to know yourself, as we’re not perfect people. This is a barrier to getting into a relationship. Oftentimes, this is unconscious. It’s important to focus on what’s realistic.

 

As much as I enjoy watching romantic comedies, that’s a big order on the shopping list! A lot of relationships can develop into that, but it takes a lot of work. Some people think when the right person comes along, no work is needed. I liked that show Married At First Sight, where people were put together based on how they looked on paper. The thing I loved about the show was that there were experts helping them, but even in the best situation, you can’t run away from an imperfect interaction, situation or person.

 

It’s important to not be rigid and to stay focused on your communication skills. We are all designed to be in love and to be partnered. My purpose of writing this book is to help women overcome these barriers.

 

What are the unconscious behaviours that can really change the route a relationship is taking, and maybe lead to a break-up or a troubled relationship?

 

I talked about “testing” earlier, where a lot of the times we test the other person. We want the other person to test us, but we’re not thinking “Oh, I want to test this”. Maybe you start showing parts of yourself that are less attractive, or will show him that you’re not perfect. Maybe you worry that if you’re not perfect, he won’t want to be with you. I think in the early stages of a relationship, you have less of a history and can push that person away. In the middle stages, the other person becomes challenged. “I’ve proven myself to you, why do I need to keep doing this?” There’s this person who is throwing a lot of these uncertain conversations or situations into the relationship. That’s one way it can play out. There’s that self-fulfilling prophecy, and you have proof.

 

Do women often ignore initial warning signs that a man may not be the “perfect guy” for them? What are these signs?

 

I added a final chapter to my book that is designed to give strategies and tips to new couples who have just started going out. I think we always want to be done with the dating, and want this guy to be “the guy.” It’s easy to overlook early warning signs, and say “oh maybe he’s having a bad day.” Even though it doesn’t sound romantic, keep a journal and keep track of these behaviours. It’s new, it’s easy to get swept away, and think “oh, he didn’t really do that before.” We can all engage in these behaviours, so it is important to identify if it’s a pattern.

 

For example, there can be the black and white thinker, who has strong opinions on everything. It’s normal for all of us to have one or two areas that we’re passionate about, but with this person, there’s no grey in his life. That’s someone who you would want to avoid, if it’s a pattern.

 

The other type is a victim, blames others and does not take any responsibility. Another type is the ex-talker, who can’t stop talking about his ex in a negative way. While it wouldn’t be good if he always spoke of his ex in a positive light, this guy won’t take any shared responsibility. There is also the criticizer, who may not be critical of you right away, but you can anticipate that he may be later.

 

There is also the idealizer, who puts you on a pedestal and sees you as perfect. The last type is the Don Juan, who is constantly flirting with everyone, whether it’s the waitress, barista or hostess. He is not just focused on you, but also on other women.

 

This devalues you and you wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with him. It’s easy for us to go to the extremes and reject people, however. That was just a quick chapter at the end, but there’s a section for women who are overcoming certain fears.

 

What are your best ways for women to stay strong, assertive and open-minded while dating, both before and after they’ve found a great partner?

 

It’s important to appreciate parts of your life that are working, even without a partner. You might end up meeting someone while doing an activity. Be active, this will make you a happier person, and we’re all attracted to happy people. Get caught doing what you love.

 

What do you want the other person to see you doing- not staying in your apartment and hiding! Don’t think about it, just do it. Women think too much, and this can be a barrier to action. Pay attention to your behaviours.

 

For women in their twenties who are trying to figure themselves out, if it starts with only sex, there is already so much pressure on both people. You may attribute nicer qualities to the guy, in order to make it work, or this may lead to you backtracking.

 

Many relationships which start with just sex never get to the relationship stage, although some do. I love working with younger people, because it is easier to adopt new behaviours. There are no deeply entrenched behaviours, so they are interested in change. However, the dating scene is not just confined to one age group. For women who are older, the change is more dramatic.

 

Read it on thepurplefig.com

 

————————————————————————————————————

 

Relationship Expert Michelle Skeen Discusses Why People Sabotage Their Love Loves

 

The Purple Fig

 

Recently, The Purple Fig had the pleasure of chatting with therapist and relationship expert Michelle Skeen, who shared the secrets from her new book Love Me, Don’t Leave Me. Our exciting and informative interview with her offers us a closer look at why people sabotage their love lives, how to communicate with your partner in the world of digital dating and how to keep calm despite the pressure to constantly stay in touch. Enjoy, and we hope that these tips from Michelle Skeen help you navigate the dating jungle!

 

As a therapist who works with couples, what was the one major issue you noticed in terms of why people sabotage their love lives?

 

I think the most frequent thing that happens is that past experiences get in the way. Often, they’re in a situation with their present partner or the person who they are dating. Something may be said or there may be a situation where an incident triggers a past experience for a woman, instead of letting her stay in moment.

 

This is challenging because we’re designed with schemas to know what we can expect. From an evolutionary standpoint, we need to know what we can expect. Often, when people have not had great role models in relationships (whether it was between their parents or someone else in their families), they may be expecting the worst. Often, they may not trust the situation. Is it too good to be true?

 

Many people get weary and want to give up. We see a lot of leaving before you can be left, as a pre-emptive strike. It can even be triggered by something really simple, like an unanswered text. Is he still interested? Thoughts spin out of control because of these ambiguous situations.

 

My book addresses the ambiguous situations (because we so often are in these situations while in relationships and dating). We still have expectations that because of smartphones, the other person should get back to us immediately. We all have these racing thoughts, like is he interested or not?

 

Your book, Love Me, Don’t Leave Me discusses how to maintain communication when in a relationship. What are the top communication tips you offer to single women who are dating, in terms of texts, social media and email?

 

I think that communication, especially now, is such a key tool for everyone to use to strengthen their relationship and to be in the present moment. I talk about active listening in the book. We have all of these old tapes of previous conversations that run in our head.

 

It could be a buzz word. This whole script is running through your head, and you’re already predicting. This isn’t meant to make anyone feel embarrassed, but it’s important to be open to new possibilities. One of the things I have in my book is the practice of mindfulness. Recognize what is happening in the moment. It sounds a lot more difficult than it is.

 

Many people think that mindfulness and meditation are about sitting there and clearing your entire head, but it’s about recognizing all the thoughts that are going through your mind. When you’re in a conversation with someone who you have emotional feelings towards (could be a romantic conversation), we’re just really focusing on what’s happening right there. Pull your attention back, and remember that this isn’t the last guy you were dating, or your parents.

 

On that note, how have apps like Tinder changed the landscape of dating in your opinion? Do you believe digital dating has led to a constant need to “connect” and stay in touch?

 

I think in those situations, we all have the fantasy that we’re going to bump into that guy somewhere and your eyes are going to meet! I think something that trips people up is that ambiguity, and it’s important to stay focused on what is actually being said. It’s tricky and a hard line to watch. You don’t want to “ding” the other person just because their response wasn’t perfect. You have to stop projecting past experiences on the present. Maybe for people who lean toward ambiguity, quick-click apps like Tinder may not be the best fit.

 

I think again, people need to focus on how to stay in the moment. For people who continue to try to meet someone who they can have a long term relationship with, you’re seeing everything laid out in front of you before this is a possibility. That can be sabotage too, thinking too far into the future. They’re transported back to the past or caught up in a future fantasy.

 

Read it on thepurplefig.com

Michelle Skeen